Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Skeleton Dance

In 1950s Soviet Russia popular Western music banned under severe U.S.S.R. censorship. But, as history has often taught us, with restriction comes high demand. And an underground culture of illegal music and ideas grew. 

But copying and creating musical records required the use of vinyl. Records printed on coated paper only lasted a few days. It was Ruslan Bogoslowski that discovered* you could encode music onto medical x-rays, that could be pulled from hospital archives or trash bins. 
This was called Bone Music, and a black market of bone smuggling soon spread through Russia. A December 2015 99% Invisible podcast tells the story of how dissident kitchens became night clubs and how the KGB's cracked down on the "ribs" by flooding the market with fakes.

I just think these records are stunningly beautiful, and can only imagine how creepy the skeletons must look when dancing around a turntable. 
For years, I've had the idea to take the large x-rays I have of my own spine, and to turn it into a lampshade. Having now discovered bone music, I think I will move that project to the top of my summer DIY list. 

*A discovery that would later land him in a Siberian prison for 5 year. 

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